On the surface, it may seem as though she is, and is too humble, or maybe too dumb to realize it. I mean, she can obviously use the hammer, and Orlon clearly meant it was for her when they spoke on his deathbed… Right?
Except that her lore never states that she's dumb. In fact it implies that she was very receptive to Orlon's teaching and her tendency to question him is indicative of her intelligence. So then, why is it that The Slayer implies she's chasing stories about herself, and why did she misinterpret Orlon's final words? I'd argue that she isn't and she didn't.
In her short story it's heavily implied that she's the slayer. Even the description of the statue sounds an awful lot like her. Except for two crucial details: height and gender. It's explicitly stated that there were eyewitness accounts of the slayer, but even with her glamour in effect Poppy is half as tall as the statue, and we're given no reason to think the witnesses would double the size of the person. In fact if it were a very small man wielding a proportionally large hammer, wouldn't that stand out even more? Plus, either glamour swaps Poppy's gender despite the fact it doesn't do so for Tristana, Heimerdinger, or Ziggs, or they simply saw her from a distance and for some reason both doubled her height and assumed a pigtailed figure was a man. Not likely, I'd say. So it's not even far-fetched to assume the Slayer really was someone else.
As for Orlon's final message, it's not actually quoted in her bio. So we can't say from the wording that he meant her. If anything, the timing and ambiguity are points against that conclusion. Why would he wait until he was dying to tell her, and then be ambiguous with his phrasing? Unless he either wasn't sure it was her, or knew that it wasn't. It even says that Poppy promised "to place the weapon in his hands." Now, either Poppy has some ingrained sexism, or he wasn't ambiguous about the gender of the hero. And we know that even if her glamour does portray her as a burly man, Orlon didn't see her as one since she revealed her true form to him.
So if she's not dumb and not the Slayer, and Orlon didn't outright say she was the Hero, why can she use the hammer's true power?
Maybe anyone can.
Her bio mentions that the hammer can "level mountains and tear the earth asunder." Except that description is what people who saw Orlon use the hammer said. So if Orlon, who admits that the hammer was not meant for him, can still do that, it stands to reason that that much is possible no matter who's wielding it. We even see Poppy do it in the recent Ruination cinematic, which is canon. But we also see Poppy doing her Heroic Charge– magic of her own that doesn't require the hammer. Nevermind that three of her five abilities (passive, W, E) don't use it in-game. She seems just as capable with only her buckler as she is with the hammer. So there's nothing really special about her being the one to wield it.
Finally, there's the biggest issue– she's not doing anything to keep Demacia whole, while it's in the midst of a civil war. Nor do we have any reason to think that she'd be of any help, let alone the "only one" capable of doing so, since she's not a diplomat like she was pre-retcon. So maybe the civil war isn't what the legend is referring to. Could be the Ruination, but we've no reason so far to think the hammer is especially useful against the undead. Even in the cinematic, we're shown there doesn't need to be anything special about a weapon to fight ghosts because while Vayne may have silver bolts, Karma may be using magic, and Lucian may have purifier guns, Samira is using a regular, non-magical gun.
With all that, I think it's safe to say that she's not the legendary hero. Or at the very least, we have no reason to believe she is, at present. Perhaps it really is Garen, like she says in-game. He's got stakes on both sides of the civil war, after all. Maybe it's Jarvan, who openly accepts a half-dragon in his court but hasn't yet been crowned King. Or some as-of-yet unnamed character. But until Poppy gets some additional role in the bigger story, Keeper of the Hammer fits a whole lot better than Hero of Demacia.
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